Promoting smart fashion for all women, East West Boutique to open storefront at Vandergrift
They are two best friends who are passionate about fashion.
Dessie Mitcheson Pilek and Jen Zatko Atchison, originally from Alle-Kiski Valley, met as seventh grade cheerleaders and graduated together from Kiski Area High School in 2009. These days this are business partners who are growing their clothing business online. East West Shop – with a brick and mortar location in the historic town of Vandergrift.
The new store, located at 140 Grant Ave., celebrates its grand opening on Saturday.
Their business philosophy is to encourage all women with a message of inclusion and empowerment. “We want women to feel beautiful and confident in all sizes,” Atchison said.
After quitting their respective jobs as a hairstylist and X-ray technician, the friends launched the online version of East West Boutique in May. They started by selling women’s clothing in sizes x-small to 3X through a mobile app and website, shopewb.com/store.
Customers are encouraged to download the free East West Boutique app and tune into the weekly shopping show “Tuesday Night Live”. The show features Pilek, Atchison and guest models showcasing 15 new clothing selections from their inventory.
“One of our customers said she was pouring a ‘shoptail’ drink and getting comfortable on the couch and ready to shop ‘Tuesday Night Live’,” Atchison said.
The expansion to a physical location comes after seeing their online sales exceed expectations.
“We hit our six-month online sales goals in one month,” Pilek said. “We were blown away. “
A native of Apollo and a top athlete in the Kiski Area, Pilek moved to Southern California eight years ago, working as a model. She’ll be shuttling from the west coast to help run the store. Atchison, raised in Vandergrift, is married with three children and lives in New Kensington. Their two locations are the inspiration for the store name.
The two women serve as buyers, going to clothing markets in Dallas and other cities, selecting pieces often not found in the Pittsburgh area.
Customers can expect to find trendy sweaters, jeans, dresses, outerwear, shirts, accessories, jewelry, handbags and shoes in the middle of a renovated historic building featuring a high pewter ceiling, exposed brick walls and hardwood floors.
“We’re modern Boho with a twist,” Atchison said. “Our motto is fashion from coast to coast.”
Clothing prices range from $ 15 to $ 75.
Atchison remembered that she was a little girl growing up in Vandergrift, she noticed that there were no options for buying clothes. Her mother drove her to Monroeville or other malls to buy clothes.
“I know that before I was born Vandergrift did a lot of shopping here in town – it was a huge and booming place,” Atchison said. “Just having a little piece of that here with the opening of restaurants, breweries and little shops in the making is significant.”
The duo rent an apartment building that was a trendy clothing store in the 1960s.
Guests can expect a warm welcome at East West.
“We wanted an inviting and bohemian atmosphere, but we wanted to keep the traditional feeling of the building,” Pilek said. “We just want everyone to come in, find something they’ll love to wear, but also have a fun experience with us.
In August, they sponsored a rally at the Vandergrift Pool for women – of all ages, shapes, sizes and health conditions – to mingle in their swimsuits and “love who you are,” Pilek told the ‘era.
Taylor Stein, 28, of Castle Shannon is a loyal online shopper who plans to attend the opening this weekend. She said she frequently received compliments when wearing her East West purchases.
“Each piece is of good quality and I love the style. Anyone can find something they will like, ”said Stein. “I feel like a million bucks when I carry their stuff.”